What do former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Gifford-Jones have in common? They were both born the same year and have remarkable staying power! But Carter has lived under the shadow of pancreatic cancer all his life. His father, brother, and two sisters died of this disease, and his mother…

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I am not a racist. I make this candid statement to avert such an unfounded charge against me in response to the position I will herein assert against changing the formal historical name of our state by deleting the words “Providence Plantations.”

Have you seen the Netflix documentary called “My Octopus Teacher”? I was hesitant to watch but curiosity got the better of me, as it usually does. Despite the human in the film, Craig, being slightly melodramatic (no, Craig, you do not know what it feels like to have a limb ripped off by a s…

At some point in time, everyone is going to need a lawyer. Whether you are buying a home, have been injured in an accident, hurt on the job, evicting a tenant, need a will or, God forbid, in trouble with the law, the time will eventually come. The question you will then face is how do you ch…

Burnt food. When I heard the smoke detector go off and saw the flashing lights, I must have turned 10 shades of red. I was in my hotel room. Dad was just getting out of bed. I had planned to surprise him with a toasted English muffin. To be able to cook a meal or two was one of the reasons I…

Editor’s note: The South County Chapter of the League of Women Voters will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States this year in a series of monthly columns in The Sun. The amendment, which gave women the right to vote, b…

Winston Churchill, Great Britain’s wartime prime minister, once remarked that “he had gotten more out of alcohol than alcohol had taken out of him.” During the Nazi bombing of London, perhaps an alcoholic drink eased his tension. But recent reports from Tufts University in Boston and the Uni…

I don’t know about you, but my very favorite family photos are ones that are candid shots. Sure, they’re not always “perfect,” but capturing genuine expressions and emotions is far more beautiful to me (especially since I look like a deer in headlights anytime someone asks me to smile for a …

According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2020 Facts and Figures Report (F&F report), in 2020 the total cost of caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is projected to reach $305 billion — that’s right, billion. If that doesn’t give you pause, that number does NOT incl…

Worried about having too many alcoholic drinks during the coronavirus pandemic? Think you’re on the way to liver cirrhosis? If so, think again and wonder whether you are instead developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). It can lead to cirrhosis and possibly liver cancer. A report…

A couple of months ago, we wrote a piece explaining the importance of election reform initiatives that could be broadly beneficial if implemented. It is now clear that we need to reform the political system. The good news is two simple changes can happen within the systems we currently have …

Fire Prevention Week starts today. This year, firefighters across the country are focusing on a committed awareness to “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen.” This national campaign reminds the public that house fires are a significant threat to families in the United States, and cooking is t…

When she said, “Do you want to go out to get something to eat?” I jumped at the chance. A smile crossed my face when she said, “Let’s take the Mustang.” It was like a date night we had 40 years ago. I was a teenager again and she was the girl of my dreams. We drove through town and stopped a…

William Shakespeare wrote, “In the night, imagining some fear, how easy is a bush supposed a bear!” For many families that have lost loved ones to the coronavirus, this has been a devastating year. The death numbers are broadcast relentlessly. Small wonder people have become paranoid about t…

There are quite a few authors that are so well-known and loved that there is always a wait list for their new novels. It feels like most of them have books coming out this month, so go online or call us at the library to be added to the list ASAP! If you frequent the library, you may also be…

It was 5:04 a.m when my pager went off. I sprung out of bad, grabbed my clothes, and was out the door. A few minutes later I was in the back of the ladder truck. We were heading down to check out the alarm. You never know what you are going to find. It could be burnt food, a faulty smoke det…

As the presidential election quickly approaches, we are now in a tumultuous and seemingly long primary cycle with many candidates that has been full of surprises. Spanning over the last 32 years and eight presidential election cycles, it has not been uncommon for people to make often baseles…

Research for this column won’t qualify us for the Nobel Prize in Medicine. In fact, readers may say that discussing whether poop sinks or floats is just idle conversation. Years ago, when this column covered this topic, many readers admitted they peeked into the toilet bowl. One complained t…

Today I am going to begin by singing the glorious praises of the humble lentil. I love lentils … all kinds, red, brown, green. It’s a notable day at work when I don’t have lentil soup for lunch. Some other favorites are lentil Bolognese, lentil nicoise salad, lentil shepherd’s pie, I could g…

In our free country, we all have the right to make our own decisions regarding the way we live our lives and handle our own affairs. We determine where we live, how we spend our money and with whom we associate. But as a result of illness, old age or incapacity, what may happen when you can …

Editor’s note: The South County Chapter of the League of Women Voters will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States this year in a series of monthly columns in The Sun. The amendment, which gave women the right to vote, b…

Will the so-called progress of civilization eventually destroy us? Indigenous Peoples, hundreds of years ago, did not devastate nature the way we do today. Oceans are loaded with plastics and soil with dangerous contaminants. Now, is the air we breathe gradually destroying our brains?

Cooking in the heat is just no fun, but once the slightest chill hits the air (even if it’s still 80 degrees most days) I’m dreaming about soups, stews, and homemade pies! Seriously, it was in the low 50s the other morning and that’s all it took to renew my interest in the kitchen. If you’re…

The great thing about Police Chief Shawn Lacey is he doesn’t believe one word of his own publicity. He doesn’t put on his chief’s hat, shine up his badge, and go around town like he’s above us all. He’s just a guy, and that, along with his extensive experience, vision, and temperament, make …

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched or read about an informal at-home caregiver of a loved one with dementia who “threw in the towel.” In spite of their best efforts, they finally realized that they could no longer meet the demands of caregiving. Believe me when I say, there is no s…

I arrived at the church early on Sunday morning. As soon as I opened the door, I was struck by the piquant aroma of bacon and sausage. It’s funny how certain smells linger in the air. We had hosted our monthly men’s breakfast the day before. It was the first time the group met since the pand…

The beginning of a new school year can be challenging in the best of times, and 2020 is certainly NOT the “best of times.” Many parents and guardians have been grappling with very difficult decisions regarding their children’s education (in-person, homeschool, distance learning …), and still…

There is no question that fire departments are facing unprecedented challenges during the global pandemic. The pandemic has changed the way first responders train and how they respond to fire and first aid calls. However, the dedication of the volunteers in the Rhode Island Southern Firefigh…

Elijah was tired, afraid for his life and hiding in a cave when God spoke to him in a still small voice. Moses was living in exile, far from home and trying to forget his past when God appeared to him in a burning bush. Saul was on the road to Damascus with a huge chip on his shoulder when G…

Dr. Paul Dudley White, former professor of cardiology at the Harvard Medical School, used to ride his bike to class, even in his later years. He remarked, “If you want to see how good your brain is, feel your leg muscles!” Biking may not be for everyone, but research shows the simple act of …

In 1987, at the start of the school year, then-Secretary of Education William Bennett issued a challenge to the American public: “Let’s have a campaign … Every child should obtain a library card — and use it.” And, thus, Library Card Sign-Up Month (September) was born! Corresponding with the…

I had another column already written, ready to shoot over to my editor, ready for you to read today. But then I spoke with Joe Potter, and one of his worst fears nearly came true. This was followed by an email from Ken Burton, the wonderful citizen who is behind the flag program in Westerly/…

Pungent, flavorful garlic is a crop no home gardener should be without. Garlic is a relatively undemanding plant with few pest problems. Even a 3-foot square patch of ground is large enough to yield at least a dozen bulbs.

Do you know the name George Cukor? He was an American film director born in 1899. His career began in 1928 with RKO Studios. He is best remembered for his work with MGM Studios. He directed such notable films as “Dinner at Eight,” “David Copperfield,” “The Philadelphia Story,” “A Star is Bor…

Like many people, I was especially excited about planting my garden this year. There was certainly plenty of time at home to plan one this spring! Initially, the plants started growing like crazy. Cucumbers were taking over the whole front garden, tomato plants were growing like wild, and fl…

The year 2070 ... you may not be around then. I’m pretty sure I won’t be either because the only people who live well into the 110-plus-year range are sherpas in Tibet, and as a rule, I don’t summit anything higher than the 13 steps to my office.

On a bright and sunny morning of Aug. 2, Dept of Rhode Island and Auxiliary with Student Veterans of America (SVA) participated in a historical hike to honor the fallen World War II crew that crashed on Wolf Hill in Smithfield on Aug. 5, 1943. Sadly, all three crew members perished in that crash.

It’s not that I couldn’t do it for myself. I’ve changed a flat tire before. This time was different. It was a busy road with two lanes of traffic going each way. The car was on the shoulder. The flat tire was in the grassy section just outside the breakdown lane. I’d never used the jack befo…

Editor’s note: The South County Chapter of the League of Women Voters will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States this year in a series of monthly columns in The Sun. The amendment, which gave women the right to vote, b…